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Congressman John Larson

Representing the 1st District of Connecticut


September 25, 2000
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 25, 2000


HARTFORD- U.S. Congressman John B. Larson (CT-01) was joined by U.S. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman today to announce a Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant for the Learning Corridor in Hartford. The $250,000 grant will fund two School Resource Officers (SROs) that will work at the Learning Corridor campus and the surrounding Frog Hollow neighborhood. The funding for the officers comes from the "Cops in Schools" program administered through the Department of Justice.

"I applaud the efforts of the local community to revitalize this neighborhood and provide students and teachers with a safe learning environment," Lieberman said. "Unfortunately, too often drugs, crime, and gangs share our classrooms and rob children of the opportunities an education can bring. The officers provided by the COPS program will help remove these obstacles and help ensure that these children receive the quality education they deserve."

"The Learning Corridor is one of the shining stars of our education system in Connecticut and the only way to maintain that is by providing the best education for its students as well as a secure learning environment and a safe neighborhood," said Larson. "The students attending school in the Learning Corridor are the key to our future and it is my hope that the two School Resource Officers can help them along the way not only by keeping the streets and classrooms safe, but also by playing a valuable role in the education process."

The two officers will work with students in Kindergarten through the 12th grade who attend the four schools within the corridor: the Montessori elementary school, the magnet Middle School, the Greater Hartford Academy of Math and Science, and the Hartford Academy of the Arts. Enrollment in the schools currently stands 800 students, a number that is expected to grow to 1600 students in the next two years. The officers will also work with the 450 children at the nearby Boys & Girls Club and neighborhood youth who use the campus for after school activities.

Under the program, the officers will teach crime prevention and substance abuse classes, monitor troubled students, and participate in neighborhood activities. The officers also will participate in neighborhood outreach activities, including community-policing initiatives, to help reduce neighborhood violence.

The funding was part of a larger $1,125,000 COPS grant for seven Connecticut towns to hire nine additional school resource officers. In addition to Hartford, towns that received funding include Manchester, Newington, Simsbury, Torrington, Trumbull and Vernon.

The Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (SINA) submitted the grant application, and both Rep. Larson and Sen. Lieberman contacted Attorney General Janet Reno in support of the funding at SINA's request. Partners in SINA include Trinity College, Hartford Hospital, The Connecticut Children's Medical Center, The Institute of Living, and Connecticut Public Television and Radio.